Shade serves inventive and informal gourmet fare in a sophisticated Heights setting.
Picture windows and sparse, contemporary decor in olive and earthen hues make a refined impression. Fans of Houston's Daily Review restaurant will recognize creator and Chef Claire Smith's touch. Service is informal but informed. Up front, the granite bar area offers views of 19th Street's eclectic shops. The main dining room lends an air of simple sophistication.
Begin lunch with quiche of the day or Asian shrimp and pork toasts, breaded triangles served with shredded cucumber and peanuts. Appetizers include crab-stuffed squid, and grilled quail infused with hoisin sauce on stir-fried rice. The fried green tomato and bacon sandwich on homemade wheat bread is accompanied by a deviled egg. The flavorful smoked portobello-mushroom sandwich comes with mesh-thin gaufrette potatoes. For dinner, check out the pan-seared wasabi and cucumber-crusted red snapper. A double pork chop with tangerine sauce, pico de gallo and avocado relish is served on saffron rice.
Shade's brick-alley patio, renovated with slate and sleek tables and chairs, provides an outside dining experience ideal for groups.
*Listed among Travel + Leisure's Best New American Restaurants (2004)